A drug user prepares drugs at theoverdose prevention site in Our Place in Victoria. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)

B.C. drug users offered withdrawal medication similar to version yanked in 2014

Nearly 18,000 people were switched from methadone to Methadose in 2014.

Drug users who didn’t respond well to a reformulated methadone treatment introduced in British Columbia four years ago to ward off withdrawal symptoms have won their battle to get a medication equivalent to the original version.

Nearly 18,000 people were switched from methadone to Methadose in 2014, but a doctor who treats substance users in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver says the reformulated drug caused substance users to become ’dope sick’ in about 14 hours, instead of 24 hours.

Dr. Christy Sutherland says that led to withdrawal symptoms including pain, sweats and diarrhea and had many people seeking drugs such as heroin on the streets during an opioid crisis fuelled by potentially deadly fentanyl.

Sutherland says she has now switched many of her patients to Metadol-D, which has been shown to work as well as the original methadone.

The B.C. Centre on Substance Use has been educating doctors about that medication, which physicians must apply for on an “exceptional basis.”

Laura Shaver, who heads the British Columbia Association of People on Methadone, says the province discontinued the original treatment for marginalized people without consultation, which caused misery for drug users, including herself, who experienced withdrawal.

Related: Drug users say methadone switch contributed to B.C.’s opioid crisis

Related: Convicted offenders in B.C. 3x more likely to die without methadone: study

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra lands in Cawston

The Cawston Hall is bringing in an exceptional group, the Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra, on Nov. 30.

New Princeton council faces setback

Fair to say it’s got to be overwhelming. The positions of mayor… Continue reading

Share-a-Smile Telethon ends with over $63,000 raised.

The fundraising event saw a wide variety of performers and a packed audience for the five hour drive

Princeton Mayor Spencer Coyne comments on CAO’s abrupt resignation

Cheryl Martens left the job four days into new council term

Construction begins on Hwy 3A outside Keremeos

Portion of road will be reduced to single lane alternating traffic until Nov. 30

Weekday weather update

A look at your weather for the week of Nov. 19 in the Okanagan - Shuswap

Jamie Koe, other curlers kicked out of bonspiel for being too drunk

‘You don’t kick around other players’ bags, it’s disrespectful and we expect better of our players’

Homicide victim found under B.C. bridge identified as Hells Angels member

Chad John Wilson was one of four men arrested in Spain in 2013 on allegations of smuggling cocaine.

Kelowna Sikh temple vandalized with racist graffiti

Racist graffiti was found on the side of the building this morning

Shots fired near Chicago hospital, multiple victims: police

Police say at least one possible offender has been shot

Okanagan woman leads Clean Water for Haiti

Non-profit organization looks to improve access to clean drinking water

B.C. to allow ride hailing services to operate in 2019

Fee will be applied to fund options for disabled people

Cold case files: Penticton RCMP still searching for answers on human remains found

Penticton RCMP are hoping that re-sharing of this information may lead to new tips from the public

Chocolate lab missing along Coquihalla

Brad Gibson is asking for help locating his missing dog.

Most Read